Sergey Sirotkin could only qualify eighteenth for the Belgian Grand Prix on Saturday but felt his performance did not warrant such a lowly grid slot at Spa-Francorchamps.
The Williams Martini Racing driver said his final attempt in Qualifying felt good behind the wheel, and had he had his eyes closed, he would have thought it would have been good enough for better than where he actually finished.
But such is the pace deficit this season for his Williams team – Sirotkin is the only driver on the grid yet to have scored a point in the opening twelve races of the season – it means that the Russian was eliminated in Q1, although he moves up to sixteenth on the grid thanks to the grid penalties for both Valtteri Bottas and Nico Hülkenberg.
“Today’s a shame as qualifying didn’t feel as bad as it looks on the timesheet,” said Sirotkin, who finished 0.136 seconds faster than team-mate Lance Stroll in the session. “I think, like yesterday, we’ve got a more balanced, stable and understandable base and we’d expected to get more performance from it today than we actually did.
“I think my lap was really good, but in the last chicane I didn’t nail it so Fernando ended up half a tenth ahead of me. I think otherwise I could have got ahead of him, but not by much as that’s the limit of the car.
“Unfortunately, it’s one of those days where with your eyes closed you’d say it was a good job, but when you look at the timesheet it’s not. It’s confusing for me because it felt like an improvement.”